One Step Behind

A Kurt Wallander Mystery

The eighth book in the prizewinning Kurt Wallander mystery series, from the writer Booklist calls “a major voice in international crime fiction”

“For me, Henning Mankell is by far the best writer of police mysteries today. He is in the great tradition of those whose works transcend their chosen genre to become thrilling and moral literature.” —Michael Ondaatje

On Midsummer’s Eve, three friends gather in a secluded meadow in Sweden. In the beautifully clear twilight, they don costumes and begin a secret role-play. But an uninvited guest soon brings their performance to a gruesome conclusion. His approach is careful; his aim is perfect. Three bullets, three corpses. And his plans have only just begun to take shape.

Meanwhile, Inspector Kurt Wallander’s summer vacation has ended and he’s back at the Ystad police station. Constantly fatigued, he soon learns his health is at risk—but all his energies must go into his work when a fellow officer is murdered. In the course of their investigation, the police slowly realize how little they know about what is going on in their seemingly serene town. An unknown killer is on the loose, and their only lead is a photograph of a strange woman no one in Sweden seems to know.

Forced to dig more deeply into the personal life of one of his colleagues, Wallander uncovers something he could never have imagined.

One Step Behind is the eighth book in what the Los Angeles Times Book Review calls the “exquisite” Kurt Wallander series.



“The sweep and complexity of Mankell’s plot are reason enough for tackling this dense book. But his meditations on surprising subjects like time travel and ‘man’s relationship to monsters’ make him something special.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Lyrical, meticulous, and stunningly suspenseful.”
St. Petersburg Times
“Especially satisfying.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Henning Mankell’s Inspector Wallander has established himself as one of the best of recent detectives. . . . It is not hard to see why the Wallander books have made a particular impact.”
The Times Literary Supplement
“Typical of the dense, intricate intelligence that Mankell brings to detection and crime writing.”
The Washington Post Book World
“Wonderful! Police procedural with personal texture.”
The Associated Press
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Books by Henning Mankell

A Kurt Wallander Mystery

Henning Mankell

The Shadow Girls
A Novel

Henning Mankell

A Kurt Wallander Mystery

Henning Mankell

The White Lioness
A Kurt Wallander Mystery

Henning Mankell

Goodreads Reviews